50s Pleated, Possibly Sharkskin Fabric Skirt Alteration.

Hello lovely people. I hope you all forgive me for my hiatus as I scrambled to find work. The news is, I haven't found any long term work, but I'm trying to get out of my rut and get back into the blog and just trudge on. I hope and I'm working on leads for things (let me know if you found some!) and maybe something will come up soon.

Though I am having a hard time, I do have to thank all those who have shown support. Especially last week. Brian got hit by a car. We were crossing the crosswalk and a car turning into the intersection simply didn't stop and Brian went flying! HE IS ALRIGHT!!!!! I took him to the vet for x-rays and a check up and he is alright. The driver has the vet bill so I am expecting to get reimbursed soon. That was something that was SUPER stressful, but again, the support of people (a friend came during her lunch brake to drive us to the vet) was just amazing, thank you all.

To get out of my head for a bit, I went to a friend's birthday party. It was a while since I had been out with friends, so I decided to go and have a good time (which I did). It was somewhat of a low key vintage affair, but I wanted to look cute. I mean, who does not want to look cute?

I'm still doing alterations and mending for Playclothes and in the latest pile came this amazing I believe sharkskin flocked pleated skirt. The gingham pattern is great and the hem of the skirt has a bias cut panel that is too adorable for words. I think it's late 50s, which I don't really do, but the fabric and detail on the skirt was so amazing, I had to make it mine. The skirt was pleated for a 24" waist (one reason it was in the mend pile is that the waist button hole had been ripped open). I took off the waist and looked at the pleating job on the skirt.

The skirt is done in knife pleats with an inverted center front. It's pretty cute. The pleats are deep, 2", so there was a lot of fabric to work with. I had to do math! I ended up taking out the pleats ever so carefully, releasing them about 1/8" each. There were a few of the pleats I left alone, the front ones especially. I just didn't want to bother with those.

I was real surprised how easy it was to alter the pleats. I thought I would go crazy, but the fabric was almost like paper and very obedient. The above picture is the adjusted pleats. As you can see, I didn't overlock the edge of the waist. I kept it raw in case I needed to adjust the pleats again, and since I didn't take out all the pleats, overlocking the whole thing might require a lot of alterations later down the line.

This skirt was really put together well. I can't tell if it was hand made or machine made. The thread on the waist was going rotten, so me altering it at all was actually a good thing.

The fabric was starting to tear in some places. Not sure if it was the integrity of the fabric (which seemed pretty strong) or just the stress of the waist, so I decided to do a stay stitch with some hem tape on the waist to aid in the stability of the fabric.

Now the new waist. Because the flocking is velvet, I decided to make the waist velvet. The original waist was from the same fabric as the skirt, but I didn't want to cut into the skirt for material, so I took some black cotton velvet I had and some white cotton to help stabilize, add contrast, and to help be a buffer for the rub on the velvet waist line.

Here is the velvet and the bit of cotton white detail.
This way, I didn't have to add and sort of stabilizing insert into the waist. The cotton was strong enough to back the velvet and act as the reinforcement. I ditch stitched to add a second line of stitching to the waist to keep it from bunching.

And here is the final skirt and Brian after the accident.

The sweater wrap is one I dyed and I simply tucked it into the waist. Yes, I did some twirls in this puppy, and let me tell you, it's got great sweep! I will need some blouses to wear with this thing. The skirt is too spectacular to wear with a pattern.

So now you know what has been happening in my world over the last few weeks. No job yet, help from friends, my dog got hit by a car, and I'm trying to sew more. Man, I can't WAIT for this bad luck to be over already!!

Have a great day!


  1. You look spectacularly pretty. Keep on keepin on. I think you are amazing the way you figured out how to alter that skirt.

  2. The skirt looks beautiful-you have incredible skills! Glad Brian's ok and on the mend. That must have been heartbreaking (and stressful) for you. Keep your head up--better days are coming.

  3. Wonderful skirt, so glad you were able to save. I really enjoy all your blog posts. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I'm so glad Brian is okay, it was very upsetting to read that! The skirt looks fabulous on you as well as those t-straps.

  5. You look amazing in that ensemble! I love the skirt. Thanks for posting the details. I tend to overlooked skirts that are too small in the waist but I now see it may not be that difficult to adjust - I just need to spend some time (time well spent) and use my brain. I am so glad that Brian is okay.

  6. My heart skipped when I read that Brian had been hit by a car. All your readers know what a good friend he is to you. I took a deep breathe of relief when I read that he was alright. What a pretty picture you two make together. The sweater is a wonderful color on you, and the skirt is chicerino. Just take care of yourself and stay positive. Words I've heard many times but its advice that does have merit.

  7. I'm sorry you are having bad luck but I am SO happy your pup is okay!! That skirt is gorgeous and I love the color you dyed the sweater.

  8. Thanks everyone! I'm trying to look up, but its hard. Harder than usual. Thanks for the compliments on the skirt, too!


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